How to handle this... advice please(7 Posts)
I have separated from my alcoholic husband - he left in Aug 9th. This is the second time he has left. We have 3 kids 11, 8 & 5. The oldest and youngest are coping fine, but the middle is hysterical if I ever have to leave him at home - with anyone (GP, babysitter - who he has known all his life)
I work FT but have managed to rearrange hours around school time at least for this term. so I am dropping and collecting 3 days a week. My exH does one day and my mother another, The problem is that I HAVE to work Weds evenings from 6-8.... we have a regular babysitter who has been covering this for us for years ( when my H was not at home I had to leave before he returned from work)
This evening my 8 yr old was hysterical when I left, screaming and clinging to me, sobbing and telling me how unsafe he felt when I am not home.
It breaks my heart - I rarely go out except for work stuff - and I have been so fortunate in rearranging most of my work pattern around the children's school....
Is this sudden behaviour or soemthing that happens on a regular basis?
My son sometime does the same thing to me when I drop him off at the childminders in the morning but as soon as Ive left hes fine (I always call the childminder to check). I believe the recent little outbursts were caused by him seeing his dad so could there be anything behind this behaviour? Has he mentioned any specific things that have happened lately that may be upsetting him
Does he say specifically why he feels unsafe? could there be a reason?
I kind of know what you are going though as I separated from my Ex about 15mths ago due to drink/mental health problems. I have 2 DCs who are 5 & 2.
I think you need to try and establish what/why your Ds is scared.
How long does he cry for when you go? I mean after you have already left iyswim.
Lemon, can you get a little one to one time with DC2? If you can, ask what they are afraid of. The answer is probably that you too will leave and he will be left. Thing is, older children feel responsible for everyone else and feel they have to put the needs of staying parent and youngest child first, therefore they tend to act strongest. Don't take this the wrong way but be sensitive to oldest child's feelings in the future.
Youngest child tends to have utmost faith in remaining parent and oldest child and so the effect of a parent leaving is mitigated.
Being the middle child is hard at the best of times. He is probably frightened that if one parent can leave, both can. Try if you can to have time with him on his own. Let him talk and answer any questions he has (some of them are to be expected and some will be completely off the wall). Tell him why you have to be away and what you do when you are away. Make sure he knows that you will return and let him know when (perhaps tell him that at 8.45 you will come in and tuck him in). He needs a lot of reassurances at the minute.
I know that this situation is hard for you, but it's hard for your DCs too. Two of them are dealing with it as best they can, one of them can't. Good Luck.
Thank you all. I know its hard for them all. and its hard, because I do not have the words to explain alcoholism to children in a way that is honest, factual and not blaming or too negative about their father. (He is dry now, but all trust is gone)
I am always very clear about what time I will be back, and stick to that. I will make some time for DS2 this weekend and see if I can get closer to exactly what is bothering him. All of their behaviour has improved since h left, except when he is there...
I just want to make it ok for them, and I can't, because I cant stop H being an alcoholic and an abusive bully. All I can do is hug them, and love them and be there
It sounds like your DS is very traumatised by all that has happened and really needs your support at home right now.
You could contact CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health) who can help arrange therapy to help him deal with his loss.
Why don't you consider dropping down to p/t hours or taking a break from working altogether? It might not be the most convenient option for you but surely your child's wellbeing is the most important thing at the moment. You'd be able to claim Income Support as a lone parent as your youngest is under 7. If you dropped to p/t you'd be able to get tax credits to help make up the shortfall provided it was over 16 hours.
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